I Protest the Protest

I work weird hours, so it’s probably nobody else’s fault.

I mean, probably not too many people in the city of Rochester are leaving their homes for work at 2:15 p.m. Sunday.

Which today happened to be the exact time when the Ferguson-related protest was marching down East Avenue intending to lie in the street at East Avenue and Scio, which is the very intersection that usually facilitates my path out of town to my job.

If you look carefully in some of the news coverage of this protest, you can see a bearded white boy in glasses driving around in a white Chevy Malibu shaking his fists and cursing. Use a lupe. It’s worth the effort.

This started Tuesday in Rochester of course when Mayor Lovely Warren decided to weigh in on Missouri’s failure to indict Darren Wilson, who is now a former police officer and probably future Fox “News” contributor who will not have to answer publicly for shooting and killing an 18-year-old in Ferguson, Mo. this past summer.

Believe me. I think there should have been an indictment. I think the prosecuting attorney did everything in his power to hinder an indictment. I think there was an enormous amount of bullshit in the testimony offered to the grand jury. I think when one person murders another person, that person should have to face a judge or jury. I think this country has discovered a brand new way to lynch its black men, and I think that way too many people are finding that perfectly acceptable.

Essentially, I think that this guy knocked it out of the park:

At the same time, I don’t think it’s quite right for the lady who signs our local law enforcement’s paychecks to be making a public statement like this:

I know that many members of our community are upset about the decision today in Ferguson. I am too. As I was thinking about how to respond, I went back to how the situation started: With a young, unarmed black man and an authority figure who had little regard for this young man’s life.

Were I a police officer in Rochester last week, I wouldn’t have been very happy with my boss. And this seemed especially tone-deaf in light of the last high-profile gun death in Rochester, that of Officer Daryl Pierson in the fall. She didn’t need to address Missouri’s failure to indict Wilson. And she probably shouldn’t have. (It has since been removed from her Facebook wall.)

(My own two comments on this post were first, a link to a YouTube video called “Sideshow Bob Steps On Rakes For 10 Minutes” and, second, “Don’t blame me. I voted for Alex.”)

You see in her statement where she proposes a “community event” to take place at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Liberty Pole. Considering the controversy Warren’s statement generated around town, the City Council cancelled the event. But that didn’t mean no protest.

And so there they were, marching right in front of my building, right exactly when I was trying to get A) someplace to grab a lunch that won’t kill me and B) to get to the job by 3:30 p.m.

When I lived in D.C., I always found it hilarious when the G8 protestors would come in and protest for the environment and shit and then would leave behind a thick slurry of pamphlets and posters, the production of which probably used 8,000 trees. So understand, when it comes to protests, this guy is a bit of a Grinch to begin with.

They’re always messing with my commute, and I reckon there’s no escape from that. I mean, I’m well aware of the larger issue, but I don’t see the efficacy of blocking traffic with your bodies here in Rochester.

I just don’t get it.

Gladly, I did make it to Lori’s Natural Foods, and they had the egg salad sammich with the gluten-free bread. I’m not a gluten-free guy, understand, but this bread is really good. Also got the usual snacks: Handful of spinach, Very Veggie juice, raspberries, a tin of Popcorn Charlies’ Kettle Corn, some granola, two bottles of Honest Tea’s Lori’s Lemon Tea, a carrot, and Raaw Better Beets.

Sure beats “double cheeseburger, small fries, medium coke,” which, once upon a time, would have been my go-to order on a day like this.

Then there’s always this:


When my teams beat the Browns it always makes my day.


I have never heard Alex Jones be nearly this cogent.

It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

For the first time in recent memory, we had snow for Thanksgiving.

Just call me Lorelai Gilmore; that’s how excited I was to have snow on Thanksgiving. A decade ago here in the Rochester metropolitan area, snow on Thanksgiving was a given. These days, not so much. And it’s a more daunting task, I think, to get excited about glüwein and to feel the snuggly comfort you’re pursuing on Thanksgiving when it’s a balmy 50 degrees outside. So I welcomed the snow gladly.

I took Wednesday as paid time off and was able to help where I could with the preparation, though Dear Old Dad had much of it in hand by the time I got to the house. The pies were made already (pumpkin not-from-a-can, peach, pecan) and much of the prep was done, and the day itself went smoothly. I was on stuffing, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole duty as usual. Dad worked the bird and rendered the gravy, as well as other sides and overall planning. We didn’t have quite the turnout we were anticipating, but it was still a robust crowd.

Among our guests this year was a family from Afghanistan, the father of which had served as an interpreter for the American effort there. Our family has been working with No One Left Behind to help get these folks—who are often in mortal danger in their native country—here. We were glad to have them. And it was truly a remarkable thing to know that our rather secular household could bring folks of so many different faiths to the table; Muslims, Christians, and the secular humanist variety.

The only problem was that whatever cold that was going around decided to choo-choo-choose me this week (this despite a powerful dietary regimine, a near OCD system of hand-washing, and a flu shot, although that this cold only kicked my ass for three days rather than a week I think says something for that). I began to notice it about on Tuesday evening and was probably most destroyed by the thing on Thursday. Any other occasion I would not have shown up; I would have spared these people my feverish presence. But I wasn’t missing Thanksgiving. I just got a box of Alka-Selzer plus and downed one every couple of hours. I also discovered that glüwein has great medicinal properties.

Thanksgiving is my favorite. At work, it is the holiday I tell my boss I cannot work under any circumstance. I can miss Christmas. I can certainly miss New Year’s Eve. But. Thanksgiving? A holiday centered around stuffing your face with comfort food? Are you kidding?

Well, we had a lovely one this year.

And then there was me on yesterday morning:

having tea by the fire

Yeah. It doesn’t get much better than a cup of tea by the fire.

Kitteh agrees.

kitteh by the fire

The Perfect Pair of Gloves

I was rooting around in my closet yesterday looking for my gloves, and I was reminded of a momentous discovery. Some designer with more R&D resources than I have should be paying attention. I’m about to make you.

I have two pairs of gloves. One is a pair of wool fingerless gloves, blue. The other pair is a pair of regular ol’ fingered gloves. (Huh-huh. Huh. He said the gloves were fingered.)

So a few years ago, I lost one of the one pair and one of the other, so I just started wearing them that way, with the fingerless glove on my right hand and the other on my left.

It may have taken me two weeks, but eventually I realized that this was the PERFECT PAIR OF GLOVES.

I mean, you wear fingerless gloves to afford you more dexterity while giving some, albeit compromised, protection from the cold. Gloves with fingers are better at insulating, of course, but just try to get your keys out of your pocket while you’re wearing them.

My unmatched set provides dexterity to the hand I’m more likely to need but total insulation for the other. I’m probably going to put one hand in pocket while walking down the street anyway.

Besides. You’ve got another pair just like them at home. (Well. Kinda.)

If I were a designer, I’d find a way to create this idea into a clothing line. Seems like the next best thing to me, save for my world-famous iPhone lanyard case (which I’m also amazed hasn’t caught on yet).

“Had Joe Lieberman not changed his vote at the last minute, we would have a public option in [the Affordable Care Act]. And if we had a public option in this bill, we’d probably still control the Senate.” (Howard Dean)

Dean is right. A public option at the very least would have made the ACA much more accessible and effective. It also would have been easier to sell and more difficult to obfuscate.

My favorite is when he refers to the ACA as “this Rube Goldberg thing.”


And, by the way, directing federal agencies is well within the powers of the President; always has been. This is that whole “he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed” thing. And yet, the Post reports that these numb-nuts have been talking lawsuit, or government shutdown. Unreal.

Hoo, boy.

“There are many meritorious situations where the argument could be made for a waiver, including Congresswoman Duckworth’s. The question is, how do you choose?” (Rep. Rosa DeLauro’s spokesperson quoted by the National Journal)

I’ll tell you how. When it’s Tammy F**ing Duckworth, you morons.

SMH at Democrats.

Good Poop

This Just In: HUD Secretary Nominee Loretta Lynn Once Got Jimmy Carter Out Of A Jaywalking Fine

When I went to journalism school, the first class I took was News Writing. This is where you learn to write for newspapers. It was one of the best courses I had in college because it was there that I realized how specifically mathematical correctly formed sentences actually are.

The second class I took was called Reporting Practices. And the first lesson on day one of Reporting Practices was about how to correctly identify a person when you write about him in the newspaper. On first reference, you are supposed to use the first name, middle initial, and last name. The reason that you are supposed to do this is because if David A. Jones is convicted of manslaughter and his neighbor David O. Jones is not, but you just print that David Jones was convicted of manslaughter, then David O. Jones’ friends and family are going to furrow their brows at him and soon David O. Jones will be irate and in your newspaper office receiving room, perhaps accompanied by an attorney, or at least threatening to cancel his long-time subscription.

I have always thought this is why particularly notorious figures are named including their full middle names. However, as Slate points out, that’s not always the reason.

That is how basic and essential it is to correctly identify people in journalism. It is the very first lesson you are taught. Day one. Get this right or don’t bother.

So Brietbart “News” ran with a story that said that President Obama’s pick for attorney general, Loretta Lynch, had represented the Clintons during the Whitewater nonsense.

However, there’s a bit of a problem: It was the wrong Loretta Lynch.

Fortunately, Breitbart “News” immediately saw the error and acted quickly and with integrity, pulling the entire story off of their Web site and issuing an urgent and somewhat bashful correction.

Just kidding. They left the story up even though its entire premise was incorrect, put the word “correction” in the headline in parenthesis, and inserted this line above the “reporter’s” credit: “Correction: The Loretta Lynch identified earlier as the Whitewater attorney was, in fact, a different attorney.”

Some people actually develop their opinions and base their votes on this crap. Isn’t that somethin’?

(Media Matters first brought this to the world’s attention.)

In Other News
Romeo and Juliet Has No Balcony (The Atlantic)
“Not only was there no balcony in Romeo and Juliet, there was no balcony in all of Shakespeare’s England.”


Slow.com and Election Blow-Out

For years, one of the best Web sites in the known universe was slow.com.

When you visted the site, you were presented with the Sesame Street sketch where the Yip Yips encounter a com-pyoo-ter.

I am sad to report that the genius who posted this wonderful Web site has for whatever reason seen fit to sell this enviable domain name. Now it takes you any number of cable/Internet providers.

The Internet is just not the same without the single-serving site known as slow.com.

I haz a sad.

Of course, the elections were a disaster. I tried to tell ya so. Or, rather, Harry Truman did. When you have a Democratic candidate refusing to answer whether or not they voted for the Party leader, that candidate ain’t gonna win anything.

Stop crunching numbers, you big dummies, and be friggin’ Democrats.

See, Thomas Franks is down with me: ‘The president is basically in hiding’: Thomas Frank unloads on Dems, Kansas and crushing midterm losses

Perennial favorite Thom Hartmann has a pretty good grasp of the situation, too.

Piehole Should Be Quiet

This is my new favorite thing. I mean like ever.

Blah blah blah blah blah blah…

(Original video is at Liveleak.)

Yeah, I voted. Like a boss.

I come from nowhere, and you should go there. Just try it for a while. The people from nowhere always smile. Their eyes are all frozen over. The sides of their faces pooch out at the corners because that’s what happens when their mouths turn up on both sides, which is why we can tell they’re smiling. They never frown. They never let their eyebrows turn down. They like going around with their teeth showing all the time. They are from nowhere. Your teeth are showing, so maybe you been there! You could have the disease of nowhere people, where the air gets stuck all over their gums—when their nowhere lips roll back. For real excitement, they stand still. They shut up. Then they don’t do nothing out there in nowhere!

“I’ve seen it happen time after time. When the Democratic candidate allows himself to be put on the defensive and starts apologizing for the New Deal and the Fair Deal, and says he really doesn’t believe in them, he is sure to lose. The people don’t want a phony Democrat. If it’s a choice between a genuine Republican, and a Republican in Democratic clothing, the people will choose the genuine article, every time; that is, they will take a Republican before they will a phony Democrat, and I don’t want any phony Democratic candidates in this campaign.

“But when a Democratic candidate goes out and explains what the New Deal and Fair Deal really are — when he stands up like a man and puts the issues before the people — then Democrats can win, even in places where they have never won before. It has been proven time and again.”(Harry Truman)